An old friend and colleague from the past spotted this astounding fact as he browsed through old blogs (don’t know why, bit like raking through the dust in someone else’s attic I suppose: an attic that is open to all). Yes, it really is ten years to the day that I launched my bookshop, robsbookshop.com, onto an unsuspecting, puzzled and mostly unaware public.You can see the original announcement here. This blog was initiated just a little earlier than that.
I cannot pretend that it has been a roaring success, though I did enjoy building the Literary Pub with all of its silly bars and I still find them funny. Last night I went out to the real pubs of Stow on the Wold and found them unreal during this covid-19 pandemic: we were refused entrance three times owing to lack of free tables; we were granted entry to two and sat there isolated as a vizored waiter failed to communicate with me; the range of ales available was pretty much unity and the atmosphere was lunar. So, in sympathy, I have taken a dump of robsbookshop.com with a view to removing the Literary Pub entirely – soon there will be no virtual pub unless a computer virus reinstates it, which is unlikely. Besides, the links were wearing out and maybe the humour as well.
I guess my most successful book is still Spread Spectrum: Hedy Lammar and the mobile phone though I am not sure how much robsbookshop.com contributed to that success, if at all. My fiction has not done well, though my own favourite novel, Shaken by China, did have an early spike. At first I actually sold and delivered paper books through the site, but that proved impractical and it is now mostly a repository for all of my titles which then passes sales on to, mostly, Amazon.
I think I’ve added six books to my list since the launch and there are three more ‘in the pipeline’. During that time I have put up nearly 200 blogs, roughly 20 per year with a peak of 26 in 2014. Why do I do it? Perhaps the answer lies in a quote from the novel I am currently reading (The Gustav Sonata) where Lottie asks Gustav ‘Why do you have to do anything. Couldn’t you just be?’ Maybe.